Imaging of the intestines is typically performed utilizing a multimodal approach, with clinical suspicion being the primary indicator Indicator Methods for assessing flow through a system by injection of a known quantity of an indicator, such as a dye, radionuclide, or chilled liquid, into the system and monitoring its concentration over time at a specific point in the system. Body Fluid Compartments for which study should be completed and in what order. There are also many differences between outpatient imaging versus emergency or inpatient imaging of the intestines. Imaging varies widely based on the patient’s history, symptoms, and physical exam findings. The patient’s age will also play a factor in the modality chosen. For example, appendicitis Appendicitis Appendicitis is the acute inflammation of the vermiform appendix and the most common abdominal surgical emergency globally. The condition has a lifetime risk of 8%. Characteristic features include periumbilical abdominal pain that migrates to the right lower quadrant, fever, anorexia, nausea, and vomiting. Appendicitis is typically 1st evaluated via ultrasound in the pediatric population versus CT in adults.
Last updated: Feb 2, 2023
The common radiologic modalities used to evaluate the intestines are the following:
Prior to interpretation of any image, the physician should take certain preparatory steps. The same systematic approach should be followed every time:
Positioning for specific views:
Penetration Penetration X-rays is the degree to which radiation Radiation Emission or propagation of acoustic waves (sound), electromagnetic energy waves (such as light; radio waves; gamma rays; or x-rays), or a stream of subatomic particles (such as electrons; neutrons; protons; or alpha particles). Osteosarcoma has passed through body, resulting in a darker or lighter image.
|Innermost space||The interface between the mucosa and the digestive fluid||Hyperechoic Hyperechoic A structure that produces a high-amplitude echo (lighter grays and white) Ultrasound (Sonography)|
|Mucosa||Hypoechoic Hypoechoic A structure that produces a low-amplitude echo (darker grays) Ultrasound (Sonography)|
|Submucosa||Hyperechoic Hyperechoic A structure that produces a high-amplitude echo (lighter grays and white) Ultrasound (Sonography)|
|Muscularis propria ( variable Variable Variables represent information about something that can change. The design of the measurement scales, or of the methods for obtaining information, will determine the data gathered and the characteristics of that data. As a result, a variable can be qualitative or quantitative, and may be further classified into subgroups. Types of Variables thickness)||Hypoechoic Hypoechoic A structure that produces a low-amplitude echo (darker grays) Ultrasound (Sonography)|
|Outermost space||Serosa||Hyperechoic Hyperechoic A structure that produces a high-amplitude echo (lighter grays and white) Ultrasound (Sonography)|
Interpretation should follow a systematic and reproducible pattern.
Normal CT findings:
Esophageal pathologies found via Barium swallow:
Gastric pathologies found via upper GI series:
Small bowel Small bowel The small intestine is the longest part of the GI tract, extending from the pyloric orifice of the stomach to the ileocecal junction. The small intestine is the major organ responsible for chemical digestion and absorption of nutrients. It is divided into 3 segments: the duodenum, the jejunum, and the ileum. Small Intestine: Anatomy pathologies found via upper GI series:
Large bowel pathologies found via Barium enema Barium enema X-ray examination of lower gastrointestinal tract. Imaging is done while a barium compound (e.g., barium sulfate) fills the large intestine via the rectum as a contrast material. Diarrhea:
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